Category Archives: Duxton

Rhubarb Le Restaurant

After a spiffy lunch time-out, the gang was back in full force to also celebrate L’s birthday at Rhubarb.

Given the fussy eaters amongst us, there were a lot of questions to sort out before we got down to ordering from the 3-course set lunch menu ($42++) – what is “veloute”? is the soup a red meat based broth? which two ways are the quail done?

We were impressed from the word “go”, or rather, right from the amuse bouche. It was ocean trout with rhubarb sauce in a charcoal cone, topped with tobiko. Lovely presentation. The sourish sauce complemented the seafood flavours well. The softness of the fish, with the hardy cone and bursts of rubbery tobiko was a good play on texture.

IMG_1188.JPGStarters

White onion veloute

IMG_1185.JPG Translation: white onion thickened soup. I stretched to reach S’ soup from across the round table (very unglam, but sacrifices are needed for this review). It was creamy and sweet, thick like a potato soup, but nothing too fancy.

Pork & pistachio ballotine

IMG_1190.JPG Translation: Cold pork roll with pistachio nuts. I didn’t quite like it texture-wise – slightly dry and flaky. Taste-wise, it was briney and tasted so-so with the sour gherkin.

Salad of Little Gem “Achoiade”

IMG_1202.JPG This was N’s healthy choice, as the server put it – salad with cheese and anchovies.

(Soup and Salad photos courtesy of N)

Mains

Quail two ways

IMG_1193.JPG Two ways – breast meat “plunger” style (I swear I heard “plunger” but now I can’t be sure but it was seared and transferred to the oven to bake) and drumstick confit style. The quail was excellent! Would rank as one of the best quail dishes I have had; the meat held together well and was very tender and succulent. Even S and J (who are not fans of meat) liked it!

After the lesson on “veloute”, we had lesson #2 on that green layered vegetable in this dish – (huge) spring onion and leek were tossed up. But after checking against the menu, “endive” was the only item we couldn’t place. This led to frantic googling amongst the group (nerds, I tell you) and somehow all sorts of images came up! So it seems there is a whole family of various sorts, but yes, it is an endive.

Lamp rump

IMG_1194.JPG Z ordered this medium, the recommended style, and it was superb. Soft, tender, and dripping with iron juices, without being gamey. Z had high praise for the accompanying bombay onion too. It is a tough fight between the quail and lamb for best mains for the day.

Norwegian ocean trout

IMG_1191.JPG I thought this was pretty, with blushes of yellow, pink and green peeking out from under the white foam. Really wasn’t in the mood for fish so here is S’ review: not bad, but maybe very slightly overcooked, could have been tenderer.

Desserts

Chocolate and cream cheese mousse

IMG_1195.JPG A few of us ordered this and I was the last to be served. This meant I observed this plating from different angles and … I’m sure it is not just me… but never mind… let’s focus on the taste. 😉 The chocolate mousse was extra rich and creamy (I guess from the cheese); it was not overly sweet but was a tad hard and quite difficult to scoop with a spoon. The biscuit bits added crunch and brandied cherries are always well appreciated.

Pistachio meringue, bergamot curd and vanilla ice cream

IMG_1197.JPG The various flavours came together nicely and made for a light and refreshing dessert.

(They also had a choice of sorbets and fruits which none of us picked given the other exciting options.)

Overall, interesting and well-executed dishes. Service was slow (could be initial kinks). Pretty posh ambience, without coming across as trying too hard or making one feel out of place. I would return for a special occasion.

IMG_1183.JPG 3 Duxton Hill
Open (Mon-Fri) 12nn-3pm; 7-10.30pm / (Sat) 7-10.30pm
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rhubarb-Le-Restaurant/1505748192995678

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Pince & Pints

It was the talk of town and of course, we had to try it!

B, S, R and I trooped down on a Tue evening and thought we would beat the crowd if we chiong-ed off from work at 6 sharp. How wrong we were! Whilst I get that a “no reservations” policy allows a restaurant to pack it full, it really does not make the customer experience a pleasant one. We had to hang around for 45 minutes for a table – I think the neighbouring shops will benefit from the extra traffic.

The food sure didn’t disappoint though! There were 4 of us so we had the lobster all 4 styles ($48 each).

Lobster roll

20140828-185024-67824510.jpg Oooh… the buttery roll, good enough to be eaten plain, but even better with the creamy, sweet lobster chunks. Though a roll somehow makes you feel less “oppulent” than eating a lobster whole (if you know what I mean), don’t let it hold you back; it’s yummy (and it IS the meat of one whole lobster!).

Live whole lobster – steam vs grilled

20140828-185427-68067430.jpg 20140828-185427-68067769.jpg Both were good cos’ the lobsters were so fresh – sweet, juicy and succulent. The steamed version just had a slight edge as grilling probably dried out the juice a little.

Chilli Lobster

20140828-201922-73162040.jpg The sauce is very similar to the chilli crab sauce you would get at popular seafood restaurants in Singapore – a perfect dip for the accompanying fried man tou and B even ordered an extra plain roll to wipe up the gravy. R the Brave conquered most of the lobster (the rest of us valued our light colored clothes more) and he gave it a chilli-stained thumbs up!

Overall, a superb place for fresh lobsters, beautifully prepared. Recommend! (But go early to avoid the Q).

20140828-202847-73727576.jpg 33 Duxton Road
Open Mon-Sat 5-11pm
https://facebook.com/pinceandpints?refsrc=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com.sg%2F&_rdr

Latteria Mozzarella Bar

December is a month for birthday celebrations. We celebrated J’s birthday at Latteria Mozzarella Bar last Friday.

Given the restaurant’s name, it was a must to start our meal with cheese.  The “mozzarella glossary” in the menu was thoughtful. Simply cos’ it sounded feminine and cute, we chose the plaited buffalo sized buffalo mozzarella (or more properly known as treccia). The cheese had a mild flavor and was pillowy and slightly chewy. I really liked it.

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We all chose from the set lunch menu ($28++ for 3-course).

The starter was a choice between the potato and leek soup and the parma ham croquette.

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I chose the latter as I am not a great fan of leek. The croquettes came in small square packages. They were crisp on the outside with warm creamy potato inside. It was all good until you bite into the “parma ham”. L blurted out my sentiments exactly: “What was this supposed to be again?”. It really didn’t quite taste like any parma ham I know; it was closer to minced beef or lamb. Once I got past that, they tasted alright.

You can choose from 3 mains – mozzarella risotto, grilled sirloin in truffle sauce and baked seabass fillet aquapazza style. Z and I shared the first 2 mains.

The risotto was extremely rich and creamy and could probably feed an entire family. It got too much after 5 mouthfuls. If you can’t share it, I would suggest you don’t order it.

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The sirloin came medium rare (I had realized at that point, we weren’t asked about our preferred doneness) but it was all good as it was juicy and tender. The truffle complemented the beef well. It was a pity it was served lukewarm at best and I do prefer my food hot.

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I have a slight aversion to fish, having choked on a fish bone when I was young. But for the sake of this blog, I pinched some of L’s seabass. I actually liked this best of the 3 mains! The fish was very fresh and the clam-based broth added a briny flavor to the dish.

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Dessert was lemon panna cotta. The curd was firm and not as wobbly as others I have had. It was milky and the lemon flavor plus the berries provided a tart contrast. Beware though; the berries left all of us with deep purple teeth and lips!

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Overall, the set lunch was underwhelming, especially after the cheese. We did notice that other diners having the ala carte dishes seem to be enjoying their meals more; perhaps we should have gone the same way.

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40 Duxton Hill
Open 12nn-230pm (Lunch, except Sat) and 6-11pm (Dinner)
www.latteriamb.com